Networking is extremely important. In fact, networking is likely the way you'll find your next job. The Internet is also important, particularly for researching industries and specific companies. You can also use it to get names and addresses of people to add to your network. With that in mind, leading tech Web site PCMag.com offers this advice for making the best possible first impression you can.
Get a permanent and appropriate e-mail address. If you want, use one for friends and fun and another for business, using your name or initials — no cutesy names like [email protected], or — well, you know what we mean.
Know your audience. E-mails to friends and potential employers should not be written the same way. Make sure your tone is respectful and professional. You can be brief, but avoid abbreviations and usually acceptable e-mail shortcuts.
Avoid huge attachments. Recipients with limited e-mail storage or a restriction on attachment size (10MB is typical) will thank you. Besides, huge attachments will simply not be read.
Subject lines matter. Make sure you select one that is appropriate and reflects the overall message. Stay away from "cute" attention-getters.
NO ALL CAPS. Typing is all capital letters is the Internet equivalent of SHOUTING.
Create a useful signature. It's nice to be philosophical, but it's more practical to include contact information for reaching you directly and quickly.
Double- and triple-check for typos. When in doubt, ask a friend to proofread your e-mails, and remember that spell-check programs correct spelling, but don't offer correct words.
Restrict access to Facebook, MySpace and other pages with your personal info. Most social network sites offer privacy settings that limit the people who can view your information.
Remove anything embarrassing from social-networking sites. In spite of the above advice, future employers could, and likely will, check out these sites to get a better understanding of you. It's time to be mature, regardless of your age.
Make sure your profile picture is grandmother-friendly. Even with restricted settings, anyone searching for you will likely see your profile image. Be careful and be responsible.